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Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  315 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
In the spirit of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES comes this delightful turn-of-the-century journal of a feisty, imaginative young girl who is finding her voice and the courage to make it heard.

It’s the year 1901, and fourteen-year-old aspiring writer Mable Riley is on her way to fulfilling her dreams, or so she hopes. She’s sure that moving with her sister to a faraway town will brin
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by Candlewick Press
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May 27, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, ya
Oh, Mabel Riley, I almost gave up on you. When we met you were so very full of yourself, your writer's eye eager to find faults rather than virtues in others, believing yourself far more clever and witty than most. And yet, the very aspects of your personality I found so unappealing also compelled me to stick out our acquaintance because I wanted to see if you would improve. Fortunately, when you meet Mrs. Rattle and learn of the plight of the women working in the local cheese factory (not to me ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Andra rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This adorable book is written from a fourteen year old girl's view of what's going on around her in the 1900's. Much like the title says, it is a record of the "humdrumness," peril and the romance that happens in a small village that she has just recently moved to with her sister, the village's new teacher.
This spunky girl is learning about views, opinions and the work that women have to do and she has to decide whether or not she is on the side of the suffragists or if she's going to be what e
Dhara Mehta
Aug 27, 2010 Dhara Mehta rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kris pepper
Jocelyn’s Marble Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum Peril and Romance is children book about the adventures of fourteen year old who travels to a different town to assist her sister as a teacher. She and her sister live at a local farmer’s house (Mr. Goodhand). Marble, a spirited girl who aims to be a writer encounters quite a few adventures in care of Goodhands. There is an odd lady who seems to live alone and is scoffed at by the rest of the community. Mrs. Rattle’s unconventional dressing st ...more
Nov 06, 2011 Mara rated it liked it
Criticisms first: the book begins very abruptly, it takes place in Canada, and there is no solid storyline. Not until you get a little further in, that is. And that is when the pros begin. Yes, it takes place in Canada, but so does Anne of Green Gables, and like that classic, I was able to ignore the general "dullness" Canada-based stories immediately have, because like Anne, Mable Riley is an engaging character, full of wit and innocent, though unrealistic, romantic thoughts of the world and ad ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Mable Riley longs for adventure. She hopes that her new situation (as her sister's teaching assistant) in a new place away from all she's known will bring her some adventure. Not so. Her life is just as dull in Sellerton as it was in Ambler's Corners. However, when she befriends an unusual woman who wears bloomers and rides a bicycle, Sellerton is suddenly filled with adventure for Mable.

What I thought: A delightful book. Mable Riley reminded me just a bit of Anne Shirley. Could be because both
Oct 08, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
This is a charming book. Mable Riley is chronicling in her journal the experience of moving away from her family with her sister, who has accepted a teaching position in another Canadian town in 1901. She is learning about the movement for womens' rights, figuring out what she wants from life, hoping for some adventure, and realizing that one person can make a difference. Maybe that one person will be Mable...

I found some witty and profound statements that I really enjoyed:

"If I had no books, I
May 19, 2008 Delyna rated it really liked it
One of the reviewers compared this book to Anne of Green Gables which is a dangerous thing to do- especially to a Canadian- so I began this book a little jaded. While I wouldn't say it is in the same league as Anne (which I consider a true classic), it was surprisingly enjoyable. Set the early 1900s in Canada, it is fun to see how a 10 year old girl would deal with the changing times. She also has some sister issues which bring a smile to my face.

This book was set in diary format but also includ
Jan 16, 2008 Amber rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical romance for children/YA
Being a sucker for romantic writing styles and historical fiction, I absolutely adored reading this book. I'm left wondering where Mable's life will lead her next. The setting is 1901 Canada and follows social customs of the time, as well as introduces women's suffrage via thorn-in-the-side character Mrs. Cora Rattle. Of course, she immediately becomes Mable's heroine. The romance is very innocent, seeing as how this is a children's book (grades 5-8). Written in journal format with equal parts h ...more
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 279 pgs

1901 Perth County, Ontario Canada. 14 year old Mable is sent to work as a teacher's assistant when her bossy older sister gets a teaching job. Mable longs for excitement and writings stories about romance and adventure to pass the time in this boring town. When town eccentric Mrs. Rattle invites her to the Ladies Reading Society, Mable accepts. Much to her surprise, the Ladies Reading Society doesn't discuss books at all. Instead, they are discussing women's rights and what they ca
May 21, 2014 Gayle rated it really liked it
Shelves: tween
A lovely book, written in journal entries (inspired to do so by journals the author found of her grandmother's). Mable longs for adventure and certainly finds her share of it as she goes with her sister to live with another family while her sister teaches the local children. Mable seems to get herself into scrape after scrape since she is a bit more outspoken than her sister would wish. She unknowingly becomes involved the suffragette movement and also in an employee dispute at the local cheese ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Sherrie rated it it was amazing
I've had this book for some time now, but haven't read it. I got it a library book sale a few years ago. The book is in diary form and is very well written. I really enjoyed reading this book and following the life of Mable for the summer. Really loved her stories that she sent home to a friend. Mabel finds herself in a bit of trouble when the suffragettes draw her into their cause. The lady she admires gets hurt during the rally and Mabel steps in. They all get taken to jail, but her friend tel ...more
Oct 02, 2008 earthy rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, ya
Charming enough, but doesn't break any new ground in the whole turn-of-the-century-girl-finds-her-voice genre. Mable's story within a story is amusingly over the top, and while her life is a little too precious at times, it's always endearing to have a spunky narrator who thinks deep thoughts and still has a great sense of humor. In addition to her real life adventures and the sordid romance she's writing (which borrows delightfully from her real life experiences), Mable also writes some great, ...more
Jul 13, 2008 Clickety rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Sweet, clever, and fun. Mable travels with Viola (her older sister) to Viola's first teaching assignment. She gets into all sorts of trouble, mostly because she is rather outspoken - incredibly so for a girl of that time period. The historical references to famous events and people were tied into the story in interesting ways.

A blurb on the back of the dust cover compares Mable Riley to Anne Shirley, but she reminded me more of Emily Starr. Anne is buttertongued, but doesn't sass. Emily and Mabl
Why does turn of the century Canada produce such awesome heroines?! If you adored Anne Shirley at any point, Mable Riley will not disappoint. Working as her sister's assistant at a rural school in 1901 Ontario, Mable is a romantic who somehow finds herself caught up in a meeting of suffragists, a strike at the local cheese factory and her sister's romantic secret. She is delightful on all levels! Plus, the narrative is interspersed with her own romantic "novel" which is every bot as ridiculous a ...more
Nov 02, 2013 Lauren rated it it was ok
Preachy history lesson framed as a novel. Characters interact and do stuff only to extent necessary to teach something. Mable is generically quirky and smart. Worst of all, in some sections of the book, the tone is almost pandering.

Years ago, I would have been the target audience for this book, and I would have hated how this book talked down to me and assumed I wouldn’t notice that the story was nothing more than a flimsy mask for a history lesson. This could have been a really engaging book. I
Jillian Kern
Jul 13, 2013 Jillian Kern rated it really liked it
By all rights, this book should have been dull - but it wasn't. The setting, the events, and the nature of the characters are all of the sort that I typically avoid, but I found myself happily charmed by this book.

Mable's voice is one of the best things about this book - she is fresh, down to earth, and most importantly acts her age. Jocelyn presents early teen-hood in all its awkward, dramatic reality, and it's refreshing for a YA author to finally allow this. There is no forced romance or un
Recommended Ages: grades 5-8

It’s the year 1901, and fourteen-year-old aspiring writer Mable Riley is on her way to fulfilling her dreams, or so she hopes. After moving with her sister to a faraway town, Mable meets a real writer, one who wears daring fashions, unnerves the townsfolk by sharing her opinions, and has a few shocking secrets as well. Designed as a vintage journal, MABLE RILEY follows a feisty girl as she finds her own voice in a time when women struggled for independence — a charmin
Aug 18, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it
I rate it a 3.8. While it was an interesting and enjoyable read, I often found it fell short of my expectations, particularly in its attempts to be forward-thinking re: feminism. I understand that the sexism and feminism within the novel had to be historically accurate, but to be honest I'm tired of reading modern day fiction which places itself in the (too-comfortable?) confines of a sexist institution and is justified in perpetuating that mentality in the name of historical accuracy.
Aug 15, 2010 Cindy rated it really liked it
Mable accompanies her sister to her new little town to start her first job as a schoolteacher in 1901. Mable will be a student and an assistant. Life in the little town is about to get more interesting! Mable's diary reveals her thoughts on leaving home, on making new friends, on her relationship with her bossy big sister, her beginnings at romance, and her budding interest in women's rights. Lots of fun and easy to read.
Sep 04, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Charming, fun read for young/tween girls. It is a diary/journal of a 14 year old girl who moves with her sister to a new town. Her sister got a job as a teacher and Mable will be her assistant while finishing her schooling. It touches on "controversial" issues of the times (women's rights, labor issues) without being too adult or mature and is a great learning experience along with being a good read.
Jesycca Cousineau
Jul 21, 2014 Jesycca Cousineau rated it liked it
Shelves: books-13-25
Fourteen year-old Mable moves to a farming community with her schoolteacher sister, Viola. While Mable harbors a secret desire to become a writer and befriends a local suffragette, she finds herself caught up in local politics and romantic thoughts and stories.
If you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables, you will love this story. While I am usually not into these kinds of stories, I found this book quite charming.
Feb 24, 2015 Nisha rated it really liked it
When Mable Mary Riley goes to Sellerton, Ontario, she wishes for adventure and romance. But little does she think just how true her wish is shaping up to be.
This was a really good book. I liked it a lot.
Here's a good passage:

Luncheon was cold chicken (too dry), buttered peas (a bit slippery), and bread, which was mot so light or tasty as Mama's. Mrs. Goodhand has not such a good hand in the kitchen (!).
Bianca Islington
Apr 05, 2015 Bianca Islington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fabulous novel with humour, charm, adventure and A dab of romance, making it a must read. Mable is a rebellious, clever but
Honest girl that tells the story through her diary entries. With a colourful cast if characters, a thick and rich plot, this is a must read and will thrill readers, no matter their age.
Lizzy Bogo
Aug 02, 2012 Lizzy Bogo rated it liked it
It was alright. Not as good as some things, and I had a hard time not comparing it to other works, such as 'Anne of Green Gables' and 'Little House on the Prairie.' One of the subjects of controversy in the story was a painting of a naked lady. I wasn't sure if that was necessary to convey the point, but just so you know, it's in there. I did like the humor that Mable had.
This is a cute young adult novel that gives a look at life at the turn of the century and at the women who fought for their rights. The main character reminded me a lot of Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables books. I didn't like this as wall as those but I thought it as a pretty good book and one that could teach young girls a little about history.
Feb 09, 2016 Toastkat rated it did not like it
I don't like Christian Fiction. I don't like Christian young adult and juvenile fiction even more. It's hard for me to enjoy a story when I'm getting annoyed or angry at characters because they're being jerks to other people under the pretense of religion. I will not pick this book up again, and I do not recommend it at all to anybody.
Dec 01, 2012 Squeaky rated it really liked it
Mable and her sister Viola take rooms on a dairy farm in a distant village when Viola becomes the new teacher in the small school. Mable meets a rabble-rousing woman who wears bloomers and rides a bicycle. I enjoyed Mable's adventures very much.
Feb 10, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Fun and fast read. Written as journal entries. A young girl trying to find out what life will hold for her, and looking for adventure. Deals with women's rights vs. social norms of the early 1900's.
Jan 16, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Enjoyable historical fiction in a diary format. I love historical fiction that reflects on women's side of history (Enola Holmes springs to mind!) I also loved Anne of Green Gables and this book shares a similar setting and time period in Canada.
Ms. Dana
Jun 11, 2015 Ms. Dana rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Enjoyable historical fiction in a diary format. I love historical fiction that reflects on women's side of history (Enola Holmes springs to mind!) I also loved Anne of Green Gables and this book shares a similar setting and time period in Canada.
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Canadian born
22 books published for young readers"
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